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Owners of Limestone property ‘willing’ to transfer

The owner – or owners – of a blighted property in Limestone Township are willing to give the property to the county’s Redevelopment Authority.

Whether the RDA has the funds to do anything with it was the focus of the Authority’s discussion during Wednesday’s meeting.

The subject property is located at 58 Bush Lane and is detailed in county assessment records as owned by Lynda Bush Berenbrok et. al.

But it was discussed that the property was titled to six children as a result of a divorce – possibly without their knowledge.

“They want nothing to do with it,” Authority member Pam Matve said, noting they are “willing to give it to us for nothing.”

But she said the RDA doesn’t have the funds to undertake a lien and title search while Authority member Phil Gilbert questioned whether the commissioners might have available funds to address those costs.

Matve said she is “hoping to have some kind of directions so (we) don’t spend the next six months trying to figure this out.”

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said it is “not true that (the RDA doesn’t) have funds.

“I think there needs to be a longer discussion about it with the Planning & Zoning Department to iron that out. We have multiple years of CDBG (federal Community Development Block Grant) funds that are floating around.”

Matve suggested that the county could send a crew to cut down the overgrowth “so we can at least see the inside. We could possibly sell it.”

“My first thought with it was I thought the spot certainly is really nice,” Eggleston said, and is “in a residential space. Something needs to be done with it down there.”

He said it is difficult to determine the blight conditions because the property is “so overgrown.”

“We have not seen it up close,” Matve said.

“At the very least, if it’s not salvageable, (it) definitely is a property that should be targeted for demolition. We’ve had worse properties than this that people have rehabbed. The question is, how do we acquire it and turn it over? (It’s) a good test case to be proactive on.”

The board agreed to undertake a title and lien search if funds can be found and will also attempt to contact the children who own the structure to assess their willingness to sign off on a property transfer.

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